Southern Summer Nights

For once, it's Monday morning and I don't feel like I just left the office. Weekends tend to fly by, don't they? Or is that just me? Here and gone before you know it. But this weekend seemed unusually long and leisurely. You know, busy, but not frantic busy. Booked, but not overbooked. Late nights, but not too late.

Friday night was Highballs & Hydrangeas at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens. I’m told they hold this event twice during the year and I just had never gotten around to attending. Even after almost three years of being here in Nashville, there are many, many…many events and places I still haven’t been. Which is good. I like that there is always something new and interesting to do.

So, anyway, Friday night I went out with the girls to Highballs & Hydrangeas. Cheekwood is a really beautiful place and the grounds glowed with luminous paper lanterns and candlelight. Cocktail tables dotted the lawns and music floated outside. Inside the voluminous garden room there was a band up on the stage and islands of delicious food provided by local restaurants. Really good restaurants. Like, PM and Mirror, and Yellow Porch and Zola, and Tayst and Noshville…and some others that are not coming to mind at the moment. Cash bars were strategically and conveniently located both inside and outside.

The age diversity of the crowd was pleasantly surprising. People in their twenties all the way to folks who looked to be well into their sixties. And everybody appeared to be having a grand old time. People moved freely between inside and outside; sitting, conversing on the white cotton couches inside or gathered around candlelit tables outside. Mingling through the gardens, perched on stone walls, or on benches beside fountains. It was really pretty and felt very ... Southern.

And the company was a hoot. Jen's non-existent but problematic cankles became a source of amusement (really, how could they not?) throughout the evening. Amy arrived in all of her glorious crazy-ness, randomly striking J.Crew poses. Once Melissa had a couple of glasses of wine in her, there was no stopping her. Literally. Even the bloody tooth reference didn't phase her. (Never mind about the bloody tooth reference, it's a long story). Terah posted a few pictures of the gang here, if you’re interested.

The event lasted until 10 pm, so I was home by 10:30 and in bed by 11:00. Long gone are the days where I feel I have to be out until 2 or 3 in the morning in order to deem the evening a success. Does that mean I’m getting old? How about mature? Yeah, let’s go with that.

Saturday morning was languorous. Daniel made eggs, bacon and toast with homemade peach jam for breakfast. Yeah, he’s a keeper. My afternoon consisted of a trip to my favorite nail salon for a much-needed (okay, much-desired) manicure & pedicure, during which I got to watch the Olympic women’s badminton competition. That’s right – badminton. Honestly, I wasn’t even aware that badminton was an Olympic sport. Huh. Who knew? There are many strange Olympic sports. Like that broom sport in the winter Olympics. You know the one I'm talking about.

Afterwards, I stopped at Wal-Mart to purchase a couple of those foldable canvas lawn chairs.

No, I’m not in the habit of going out and randomly buying lawn chairs at Wal-Mart. The chairs were part of Saturday night’s plan.

The plan was Shakespeare in the Park. This year was like the 21st annual production of the Nashville Shakespeare Company in Centennial Park. The show runs until Labor Day and they do performances every weekend. Again, this really cool event was something I just never managed to fit into my schedule since moving here. After my experience Saturday evening, I will be fitting it into my schedule for as long as they keep doing it.

The production was Coriolanus. Don’t worry, Daniel nor I had ever heard of it either. Apparently it’s not a terribly well-known Shakespeare play. It was the last tragedy he wrote and is a very political piece that remains relevant to contemporary times. The acting, for the most part, was fantastic. I recognized a couple of actors from the Tennessee Repertory Theatre and they did not disappoint.

But besides the great acting, and of course the inimitable storytelling of William Shakespeare, it was really nice being outside on a summer night with a bright moon and flickers of lightning bugs. Surrounded by other rapt Nashvillians sprawled out on blankets or lounging on lawn chairs there was a tangible sense of community and it was nice. Everyone, including us, brought suppers of sandwiches or salads, wine or sodas, chips or popcorn. Little ones fell asleep on blankets before the performance ended around 10 o’clock. And again, I was in bed by 11:00 after another lovely late summer evening.

Sunday morning I played tennis before it got too hot and later Daniel and I enjoyed ourselves at the entirely-too-delicious Indian lunch buffet at Sitar.

See? Sorta busy...but totally relaxing. Yay for Weekends.


Alison said...

Curling. Seattle actually has a freestanding curling facility - http://www.curlingseattle.org/

I've never noticed synchronized diving prior to this Olympics. Has that always been a sport? Also trampoline.

Sounds like a very fun weekend!

cathryn said...

Curling! And Trampoline? Really? Also, someone told me that Handball is included in the Olympics, but not Racquetball. Seems so arbitrary...

katy said...

Hey. I like your blog.

No, you don't know me. I just kind of randomly stopped by (doubly random actually because you left a random comment on my sister's blog. and she, ironically, like never blogs).

You are amusing. thanks for adding a smile to my Tuesday morning.

See? ----> :-)